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Growlithe Line
Growlithe
Growlithe B2W2
Type Fire
Abilities Intimidate or Flash Fire
Gender Ratio 75% Male, 25% Female
Catch Rate 190 (24.8%)
Evolution Fire Stone
Arcanine
Arcanine B2W2
Type Fire
Abilities Intimidate or Flash Fire
Gender Ratio 75% Male, 25% Female
Catch Rate 75 (9.8%)

Growlithe can only be found in the inner area of the Virbank Complex in both games. The chances of encountering one may be significantly increased by using the Repel trick with a level 13 (regular grass) or level 14 (dark grass) Pokémon leading the party.

Fire Stones are available: in the Desert Resort and Lentimas Town as static items; in dust clouds and at the Join Avenue antique shop as randomly obtainable items; in the Battle Subway as prizes, in exchange for 3BP.

Forget how Kanto hates Fire. Forget how there is no physical/special split until the fourth generation, and Arcanine has next to no coverage unless it evolves from Growlithe at absurdly late levels. Unova and Arcanine is a match made in heaven: better level-up moves, way better TM and tutor coverage, and the option to evolve Growlithe whenever, depending on the team's needs. On top of that, the chronic scarcity of Water, Rock and Ground Pokémon in this region makes it possible for Arcanine to count its real enemies on a single paw.

The evolution timing will make a significant difference in the later matchups: having or not having Flamethrower or Crunch can make or break a matchup for it. If Arcanine is evolved early, it will be a completely broken ally for about three quarters of the game, though that absurd power will gradually wear down until it finally gets Fire Blast or Flamethrower by TM. If the evolution is delayed until it learns its better moves, there will be a two-gym stretch during which Growlithe will not get to do much, but the patience will definitely pay off in the long run.

Naturally, it is not going to be a cakewalk, because Unova is a brutal region to play. But Arcanine, from the heights of its majestic BST of 555, is one of the very few Pokémon that can hold its own against the vast majority of threats, and even counter some of the Pokémon it has a type disadvantage against.

Important Matchups Edit

  • Gym #2 - Roxie (Virbank City, Poison-type): Growlithe's matchup against Koffing is about even, and it gets the upper hand against Whirlipede thanks to Flame Wheel.
  • Gym #3 - Burgh (Castelia City, Bug-type): Growlithe does really well here. It should, however, pack the Eviolite to get past Dwebble's Smack Down, or preferably skip Dwebble altogether.
  • Colress (Route 4): Once again, Fire proves to be a precious STAB to have, as it can roast Colress' team easily.
  • Gym #4 - Elesa (Nimbasa City, Electric-type): Growlithe will not be exceedingly useful in this fight; it can profit of Dig to take down Flaaffy, but only after Emolga is already down, or Elesa will most likely switch. Arcanine, on the other hand, should have no problems creaming her whole team.
  • Rood (Driftveil City): Growlithe is too weak to fight, even with the Eviolite attached. Arcanine, instead, eats Herdier and Swoobat for breakfast.
  • Gym #5 - Clay (Driftveil City, Ground-type): Neither Growlithe nor Arcanine should have any business in this gym. Even Excadrill is impossible to defeat, because its Bulldoze is a 2HKO even with the Intimidate factor and it will outspeed Arcanine on the second turn. The only way of winning the matchup against Excadrill is to already have an Arcanine with Flamethrower and give it the Expert Belt to hold; in that case, the OHKO may be secured depending on Arcanine's Special Attack stat. In the average case scenario, a Special Attack of 85 or higher will suffice.
  • Hugh (Pokémon World Tournament): Growlithe can only really fight the Grass-types, Simisear and Tranquill, as Pignite's Rollout will pose a threat to it. Arcanine has an easier time defeating Pignite, but it would still be ill-advised to send it out against Dewott or Simipour unless at high health and packing Thunder Fang.
  • Cheren (Pokémon World Tournament, Normal-type): Growlithe is too weak to fight any of Cheren's Pokémon, and will only give them a chance to spam Work Up. Arcanine can deal with them much more easily.
  • Colress (Pokémon World Tournament): Both Growlithe and Arcanine is good for this fight, though of course, Growlithe will need to pack the Eviolite. Flame Burst will easily dispose of Colress' Pokémon.
  • Gym #6 - Skyla (Mistralton City, Flying-type): At this point, even the late bloomers will be evolved. Arcanine has a good matchup against this gym, being capable of knocking down Swoobat with Bite, Crunch or Thunder Fang (depending on when it evolved), and Skarmory with Flame Burst or Flamethrower (likewise). With Thunder Fang, Arcanine can also net a clean OHKO against Swanna, but only if its Attack stat amounts to at least 102 and it can outspeed (Speed must be 94 or higher). Consider that Thunder Fang may miss, and a critical BubbleBeam will knock down Arcanine in one hit.
  • Hugh (Undella Town): Arcanine should not have much trouble defeating Unfezant, and finds Simisage or Serperior extremely easy. Simisear or Emboar will also be at a clear disadvantage, thanks to Dig, which also allows Arcanine to circumvent Emboar's high-power Rollout. Simipour should be avoided; Samurott's only STAB is Aqua Jet, so it is not terrible, but Arcanine will still be at a disadvantage.
  • Zinzolin (Lacunosa Town, tag battle with Hugh): Since Arcanine is not particularly afraid of Cryogonal's Ice Beam, it should aim to defeat the Grunt's Pokémon first, with Flamethrower/its otherwise strongest move and (for Garbodor) Dig. Cryogonal and Sneasel will go down to any Fire STAB. Watch out for Sneasel's Screech if it uses it.
  • Gym #7 - Drayden (Opelucid City, Dragon-type): Arcanine does very well here if it has Dragon Pulse. The move scores a certain 2HKO on all of Drayden's Pokémon, and none of their moves can OHKO Arcanine, not even Flygon's Earth Power, which deals just over half. A critical hit will obviously kill, and Arcanine cannot fight all of Drayden's Pokémon without any sort of healing since it will be piling up damage from the enemies it faces; pick Arcanine's fights well and decide who Arcanine should dispose of, leaving the rest to a supporting teammate.
  • Zinzolin (Opelucid City): Flame Burst or Flamethrower all the things, GG.
  • Shadow (Opelucid City): Flame Burst or Flamethrower all the things, GG again.
  • Gym #8 - Marlon (Humilau City, Water-type): Arcanine is realistically usable against Jellicent with a Sunny Day setup, which allows it to take a reasonably low amount of damage from Scald. Carracosta and Wailord, however, have Smack Down and Rollout respectively, which can make the fight go south very fast; avoid them.
  • Zinzolin (Plasma Frigate, tag battle with Hugh): Arcanine can manage well even in this rather difficult matchup. Zinzolin opens with two Cryogonal, whose Ice Beam will not do a lot of damage to Arcanine; focus on beating the grunt's Pokémon first. After that side is cleared and the two Cryogonal are gone, depending on how well Arcanine is faring, it may either stretch the battle further and defeat Weavile as well (with healing, if needed) or bail to a physical wall that can tank Night Slash better. Even then, Arcanine will not die to a critical Night Slash and, if supported by items such as Charcoal or Expert Belt, it can easily OHKO Weavile with Flamethrower.
  • Zinzolin (Plasma Frigate): His team has not changed at all, and the nuisance to his right is now gone. Annihilate everything with Flamethrower.
  • Colress (Plasma Frigate): Flamethrower or Crunch everything in sight. Be prepared to take hits; Magneton and Magnezone have Sturdy, and Beheeyem can take a hit before it goes down, unless Arcanine is packing a Dark Gem. In this fight, having Crunch is crucial; unless Arcanine plans on 2HKOing from the start - which may not be fun for Arcanine, as a critical Psychic chips away almost the entirety of its health - Bite will not do the trick. On the upside, an evenly levelled Arcanine can take a critical hit of anything but Beheeyem's Psychic or Magnezone's Explosion, so Arcanine will know when to heal or switch out if it comes to it.
  • Shadow battle #1 (Plasma Frigate): Flamethrower everything, GG.
  • Shadow battle #2 (Plasma Frigate): Flamethrower everything, GG again.
  • Shadow battle #3 (Plasma Frigate): Oh my, what do? Three guesses.
  • Black/White Kyurem (Giant Chasm): Arcanine has an even matchup against both of the Kyurem. Their strongest move, respectively Fusion Bolt and Ice Burn (which will deal more damage than DragonBreath), will deal about half to Arcanine, depending on its stats; Arcanine can 2HKO too, by using Dragon Pulse first and Superpower next. Superpower must not be used first, or Arcanine will feel the damage from the stat drop, particularly against the Black one. Keep in mind that Arcanine's base Speed is the same as Kyurem's, thus specimens with a nature detrimental to Speed will need extra EVs to be certain to outspeed it.
  • Ghetsis (Giant Chasm): Cofagrigus goes down to Crunch, Toxicroak to Dig, and Eelektross to Flamethrower or Fire Blast. Hydreigon can be 2HKOed with Dragon Pulse, but mind that its Rock Slide deals about half to Arcanine in return. Do not fight Drapion or Seismitoad, as both of them have Earthquake.
  • Hugh (Victory Road): Arcanine has no trouble against Unfezant and either Simisage or Serperior, and can defeat Simisear with Dig before it gets to Rock Slide it. Emboar is tougher, however, and it has Rock Slide too; leave it to a better counter. Simipour or Samurott is theoretically possible with Wild Charge, but the recoil will hurt and their Surf will leave Arcanine in danger at minimum, so using it in this matchup is ill-advised unless supported by Sunny Day and healing. Bouffalant will not die to a single Superpower and also has Earthquake, stay very far away from it.
  • Elite Four Shauntal (Pokémon League, Ghost-type): An Arcanine with Crunch can dispose of Shauntal's team minus Golurk very easily, but should be kept healed throughout, as Chandelure's Shadow Ball is very powerful; depending on Arcanine's stats, a critical hit may kill from full health, dealing up to slightly over 50%. However, Arcanine can also 2HKO with Crunch, and is faster. When fighting Drifblim, remember that its ability is Aftermath, so do not deal the finishing blow with a physical move if Arcanine is below 25% health. If Arcanine does not have Crunch, it should not risk fighting anything but Drifblim and possibly Cofagrigus, and do so with Flamethrower rather than Bite (Wild Charge is possible against Drifblim, with the usual Aftermath and recoil concerns).
  • Elite Four Marshal (Pokémon League, Fighting-type): Flamethrower will have trouble 2HKOing Throh even with the Charcoal attached, unless Arcanine's nature is beneficial to its Special Attack. In return, Throh will likely spam Bulldoze and Rock Tomb and cut Arcanine's precious Speed, as well as getting a potential Attack boost with Guts if Flamethrower scores a burn. Arcanine should either use Fire Blast with the Wide Lens, if available, or potentially leave Marshal's lead to another teammate. Sawk's Rock Slide is also very unkind to it, but Arcanine can take a hit, potentially even a critical one, depending on its Defense. Mienshao's Hi Jump Kick is a certain kill with a critical hit, but not otherwise. Conkeldurr has Stone Edge, keep away.
  • Elite Four Grimsley (Pokémon League, Dark-type): Liepard should be 2HKOed with Flamethrower, as it is not very threatening overall. Flamethrower will also OHKO Bisharp. Neither Krookodile nor Scrafty can be OHKOed; Krookodile's Intimidate prevents the OHKO. However, Arcanine can 2HKO Scrafty with Flamethrower if holding a Charcoal. Krookodile has STAB Earthquake and should not be attempted.
  • Elite Four Caitlin (Pokémon League, Psychic-type): Much like the Shauntal matchup, this is only really possible for an Arcanine that knows Crunch. With the help of the Expert Belt, Crunch will 2HKO all of Caitlin's Pokémon.
  • Champion Iris (Pokémon League, Dragon-type): Arcanine can 2HKO both Hydreigon and Druddigon with Dragon Pulse if holding the Expert Belt, but Hydreigon can also 2HKO with Surf and Druddigon can 2HKO with Rock Slide, meaning a critical hit on either side will result in an OHKO. It can also 2HKO Aggron with Flamethrower, but Aggron can 2HKO back with Earthquake, implying the same problems as the previous two matchups. Archeops and Lapras have Rock Slide and Surf respectively; avoid them. Haxorus can be 2HKOed by Dragon Pulse, but holds the Focus Sash and can OHKO Arcanine with Earthquake after one Dragon Dance; avoid that, too, unless Arcanine is switching in at full health (or before Dragon Dance) for a revenge kill.
  • Post-Game: Arcanine remains a great option for the League rematches as outlined in the regular matchups, and will generally have no trouble flattening enemies until the very end.

  • Gym #2 - Roxie (Virbank City, Poison-type): Growlithe's matchup against Koffing and Grimer is about even, but it should be careful of poisoning as both of them pack Venoshock. On the upside, it gets the upper hand against Whirlipede thanks to Flame Wheel.
  • Gym #3 - Burgh (Castelia City, Bug-type): Growlithe does really well here. It should, however, pack the Eviolite and skip Dwebble altogether, as it has Rock Blast.
  • Colress (Route 4): Once again, Fire proves to be a precious STAB to have, as it can roast Colress' team easily.
  • Gym #4 - Elesa (Nimbasa City, Electric-type): Growlithe will not be exceedingly useful in this fight; it can profit of Dig to take down Flaaffy, but only after Emolga is already down, or Elesa will most likely switch. It can also fight Joltik, but will need to take a hit from it first, because Joltik is faster. Arcanine, on the other hand, should have no problems creaming her whole team.
  • Rood (Driftveil City): Growlithe is too weak to fight, even with the Eviolite attached. Arcanine, instead, eats Herdier and Swoobat for breakfast.
  • Gym #5 - Clay (Driftveil City, Ground-type): Neither Growlithe nor Arcanine should have any business in this gym. Even Excadrill is impossible to defeat, because its Bulldoze is a 2HKO even with the Intimidate factor and it will outspeed Arcanine on the second turn. The only way of winning the matchup against Excadrill is to already have an Arcanine with Flamethrower and give it the Expert Belt to hold; in that case, the OHKO may be secured depending on Arcanine's Special Attack stat. In the average case scenario, a Special Attack of 85 or higher will suffice.
  • Hugh (Pokémon World Tournament): Growlithe can only really fight the Grass-types, Simisear and Tranquill, as Pignite's Rollout will pose a threat to it. Arcanine has an easier time defeating Pignite, but it would still be ill-advised to send it out against Dewott or Simipour unless at high health and packing Thunder Fang.
  • Cheren (Pokémon World Tournament, Normal-type): Growlithe is too weak to fight any of Cheren's Pokémon, and will only give them a chance to spam Work Up. Arcanine can deal with them much more easily.
  • Colress (Pokémon World Tournament): Both Growlithe and Arcanine is good for this fight, though of course, Growlithe will need to pack the Eviolite. Flame Burst will easily dispose of Colress' Pokémon.
  • Gym #6 - Skyla (Mistralton City, Flying-type): At this point, even the late bloomers will be evolved. Arcanine has a good matchup against this gym, being capable of knocking down Swoobat with Bite, Crunch or Thunder Fang (depending on when it evolved), and Skarmory with Flame Burst or Flamethrower (likewise). Sigilyph will be possible only with Crunch, as its Psychic will otherwise deal more raw damage, and Sigilyph is also faster. With Thunder Fang, Arcanine can also net a clean OHKO against Swanna, but only if its Attack stat amounts to at least 110 and it can outspeed (Speed must be 101 or higher). Consider that Thunder Fang may miss, and a critical BubbleBeam will knock down Arcanine in one hit.
  • Hugh (Undella Town): Arcanine should not have much trouble defeating Unfezant, and finds Simisage or Serperior extremely easy. Simisear or Emboar will also be at a clear disadvantage, thanks to Dig, which also allows Arcanine to circumvent Emboar's high-power Rollout. Simipour should be avoided; Samurott's only STAB is Aqua Jet, so it is not terrible, but Arcanine will still be at a disadvantage.
  • Zinzolin (Lacunosa Town, tag battle with Hugh): Since Arcanine is not particularly afraid of Cryogonal's Ice Beam, it should aim to defeat the Grunt's Pokémon first, with Flamethrower/its otherwise strongest move and (for Garbodor) Dig. Cryogonal and Sneasel will go down to any Fire STAB. Watch out for Sneasel's Screech if it uses it.
  • Gym #7 - Drayden (Opelucid City, Dragon-type): Arcanine does very well here if it has Dragon Pulse. The move scores a certain 2HKO on all of Drayden's Pokémon except Altaria, but none of their moves can OHKO Arcanine, not even Flygon's Earth Power, which deals just over half. A critical hit will obviously kill, and Arcanine cannot fight all of Drayden's Pokémon without any sort of healing since it will be piling up damage from the enemies it faces; pick Arcanine's fights well and decide who Arcanine should dispose of, leaving the rest to a supporting teammate.
  • Zinzolin (Opelucid City): Flame Burst or Flamethrower all the things, GG.
  • Shadow (Opelucid City): Flame Burst or Flamethrower all the things, GG again.
  • Gym #8 - Marlon (Humilau City, Water-type): Arcanine is realistically usable against Jellicent and Mantine with a Sunny Day setup, which allows it to take a reasonably low amount of damage from Scald. Carracosta and Wailord, however, have Rock Slide and Earthquake respectively, which can destroy Arcanine way too easily; avoid them.
  • Zinzolin (Plasma Frigate, tag battle with Hugh): Arcanine can manage well even in this rather difficult matchup. Zinzolin opens with two Cryogonal, whose Ice Beam will not do a lot of damage to Arcanine; focus on beating the grunt's Pokémon first. After that side is cleared and the two Cryogonal are gone, depending on how well Arcanine is faring, it may either stretch the battle further and defeat Weavile as well (with healing, if needed) or bail to a physical wall that can tank Night Slash better. Even then, Arcanine will not die to a critical Night Slash and, if supported by items such as Charcoal or Expert Belt, it can easily OHKO Weavile with Flamethrower.
  • Zinzolin (Plasma Frigate): His team has not changed at all, and the nuisance to his right is now gone. Annihilate everything with Flamethrower.
  • Colress (Plasma Frigate): Flamethrower or Crunch everything in sight. Be prepared to take hits; Magneton and Magnezone have Sturdy, and Beheeyem can take a hit before it goes down, unless Arcanine is packing a Dark Gem. In this fight, having Crunch is crucial; unless Arcanine plans on 2HKOing from the start - which may not be fun for Arcanine, as a critical Psychic chips away almost the entirety of its health - Bite will not do the trick. On the upside, an evenly levelled Arcanine can take a critical hit of anything but Beheeyem's Psychic or Magnezone's Explosion, so Arcanine will know when to heal or switch out if it comes to it.
  • Shadow battle #1 (Plasma Frigate): Flamethrower everything, GG.
  • Shadow battle #2 (Plasma Frigate): Flamethrower everything, GG again.
  • Shadow battle #3 (Plasma Frigate): Oh my, what do? Three guesses.
  • Black/White Kyurem (Giant Chasm): Arcanine has an even matchup against both of the Kyurem. Their strongest move, respectively Fusion Bolt and Ice Burn (which will deal more damage than DragonBreath), will deal about half to Arcanine, depending on its stats; Arcanine can 2HKO too, by using Dragon Pulse first and Superpower next. Superpower must not be used first, or Arcanine will feel the damage from the stat drop, particularly against the Black one. Keep in mind that Arcanine's base Speed is the same as Kyurem's, thus specimens with a nature detrimental to Speed will need extra EVs to be certain to outspeed it.
  • Ghetsis (Giant Chasm): Cofagrigus goes down to Crunch, Toxicroak to Dig, and Eelektross to Flamethrower or Fire Blast. Hydreigon can be 2HKOed with Dragon Pulse, but mind that its Rock Slide deals about half to Arcanine in return. Do not fight Drapion or Seismitoad, as both of them have Earthquake.
  • Hugh (Victory Road): Arcanine has no trouble against Unfezant and either Simisage or Serperior, and can defeat Simisear with Dig before it gets to Rock Slide it. Emboar is tougher, however, and it has Rock Slide too; leave it to a better counter. Simipour or Samurott is theoretically possible with Wild Charge, but the recoil will hurt and their Surf will leave Arcanine in danger at minimum, so using it in this matchup is ill-advised unless supported by Sunny Day and healing. Bouffalant will not die to a single Superpower and also has Earthquake, stay very far away from it.
  • Elite Four Shauntal (Pokémon League, Ghost-type): An Arcanine with Crunch can dispose of Shauntal's team minus Golurk very easily, but should be kept healed throughout, as Chandelure's Shadow Ball is very powerful; depending on Arcanine's stats, a critical hit may kill from full health, dealing up to slightly over 50%. However, Arcanine can also 2HKO with Crunch, and is faster. When fighting Drifblim, remember that its ability is Aftermath, so do not deal the finishing blow with a physical move if Arcanine is below 25% health. If Arcanine does not have Crunch, it should not risk fighting anything but Drifblim and possibly Cofagrigus, and do so with Flamethrower rather than Bite (Wild Charge is possible against Drifblim, with the usual Aftermath and recoil concerns).
  • Elite Four Marshal (Pokémon League, Fighting-type): Flamethrower will have trouble 2HKOing Throh even with the Charcoal attached, unless Arcanine's nature is beneficial to its Special Attack. In return, Throh will likely spam Bulldoze and Rock Tomb and cut Arcanine's precious Speed, as well as getting a potential Attack boost with Guts if Flamethrower scores a burn. Arcanine should either use Fire Blast with the Wide Lens, if available, or potentially leave Marshal's lead to another teammate. Sawk's Rock Slide is also very unkind to it, but Arcanine can take a hit, potentially even a critical one, depending on its Defense. Mienshao's Hi Jump Kick is a certain kill with a critical hit, but not otherwise. Lucario's weakness to Fire makes it easy as pie. Conkeldurr has Stone Edge, keep away.
  • Elite Four Grimsley (Pokémon League, Dark-type): Liepard should be 2HKOed with Flamethrower, as it is not very threatening overall. Flamethrower will also OHKO Bisharp. The others are impossible to OHKO; however, Arcanine can 2HKO Absol and Scrafty with Flamethrower if holding the Charcoal. Krookodile has STAB Earthquake and should not be attempted.
  • Elite Four Caitlin (Pokémon League, Psychic-type): Much like the Shauntal matchup, this is only really possible for an Arcanine that knows Crunch. With the help of the Expert Belt, Crunch will 2HKO all of Caitlin's Pokémon minus Metagross, which can be OHKOed by Flamethrower with a lucky roll, or will KO itself with the Life Orb at worst, after dealing the first hit.
  • Champion Iris (Pokémon League, Dragon-type): Arcanine can 2HKO both Hydreigon and Druddigon with Dragon Pulse if holding the Expert Belt, but Hydreigon can also 2HKO with Surf and Druddigon can 2HKO with Outrage, meaning a critical hit on either side will result in an OHKO. It can also 2HKO Aggron with Flamethrower, but Aggron can OHKO back with Head Smash and this makes it a poor choice to use Arcanine. Archeops and Lapras have Stone Edge and Hydro Pump respectively; avoid them. Haxorus can be 2HKOed by Dragon Pulse, but holds the Focus Sash and can OHKO Arcanine with Earthquake after one Dragon Dance; avoid that, too, unless Arcanine is switching in at full health (or before Dragon Dance) for a revenge kill.
  • Post-Game: Arcanine remains a great option for the League rematches as outlined in the regular matchups, and will generally have no trouble flattening enemies until the very end.

Moves Edit

Growlithe's initial movepool consists of Ember, Leer, Odor Sleuth, and either Roar or Helping Hand depending on the level it is caught at. Ember is not bad for STAB, and it gets an upgrade at level 17 through Flame Wheel. There is also Reversal at level 19, arguably not very useful in a nuzlocke, as Arcanine will want to be in high health for as long as possible. Fire Fang, at level 21, provides slightly higher base power than Flame Wheel but at a slightly lesser accuracy; the trade-off may or may not be worth it, and is largely up to personal taste. Take Down comes at level 23 and is not a bad move, but it will be outclassed by Return (an already available TM) by every means possible. Flame Burst comes at level 28; this is the least that Growlithe should wait on before evolving, as it has decent base power and perfect accuracy, unlike Fire Fang. From here on out, it is up to the player to choose whether to evolve Growlithe early or not. Growlithe will also learn Agility at level 30, but the move is by far less useful than most of its other options; Retaliate, at level 32, gets once again outclassed by Return. The next checkpoint is Flamethrower, at level 34. At this point, Growlithe is covered with the likely best possible main STAB move. Arcanine will learn ExtremeSpeed at level 34, so this is a good evolution point. If the evolution is delayed further, Crunch comes at level 39. It will come at the expense of carrying an unevolved Growlithe around for another sizable chunk of the game, but the Psychic and Ghost coverage will be precious later on. At any rate, players should not wait any longer than level 39 to evolve, because the moves that Growlithe learns later are not worth it: Heat Wave, at level 41, is no better than Flamethrower and also available via tutor; Outrage, at level 43, may be replaced by the tutored move Dragon Pulse without missing out much; Flare Blitz, at level 45, may be the only one worth waiting for, though waiting so long for it will likely put Growlithe in substantial danger. Arcanine can learn Thunder Fang through the Move Reminder as well.

Arcanine's TM pool is incredibly vast for a Fire-type. Moves such as Flamethrower and Fire Blast are accessible via TM for those who evolved Growlithe early, though the TMs will usually be available later down the road. The only other special option is SolarBeam, but it is postgame-exclusive. On the upside, it gets good early coverage through Dig and the ever-loved Return, can somewhat compensate the lack of early Bite with Thief, and acquires the powerful Wild Charge in the very late game. In addition, Arcanine gets a great defensive option in the form of Will-O-Wisp.

Move tutors will provide Heat Wave for the specimens that evolved before learning Flamethrower, and Dragon Pulse to all, except the few who may have waited until level 43 to learn Outrage naturally. Outrage is a great coverage move against the late game Dragon-types, but unfortunately, it is only tutorable in the postgame, so only Arcanine who evolved extremely late will have it.

Recommended moveset: Flamethrower / Fire Blast / Flare Blitz, Dragon Pulse / Outrage, Crunch, ExtremeSpeed / Wild Charge

Recommended Teammates Edit

  • Grass-types: Realistically, Arcanine will be perfectly covered just by having a Grass-type teammate. Grass-types sport super effective STAB against all three of Arcanine's weaknesses, as well as resisting two, and they are commonly found in Unova. It is important that, in the event of a dual Grass-type, the secondary typing does not nullify the resistance to Rock, Ground, or Water.
  • Water-types: If Grass-types are somehow not available for Arcanine to team up with, Water-types will work almost equally well. There is a substantial scarcity of Water-types in Unova, compared to most other regions, though the few that are found are almost all good or very good.

Other Edit

Growlithe's stats Edit

Stat Range
At Lv. 50 At Lv. 100
HP: 55
115 - 162 220 - 314
Attack: 70
67 - 134 130 - 262
Defense: 45
45 - 106 85 - 207
Sp.Atk: 70
67 - 134 130 - 262
Sp.Def: 50
49 - 112 94 - 218
Speed: 60
58 - 123 112 - 240
Total: 350   Other Pokémon with this total  
  • Minimum stats are calculated with 0 EVs, IVs of 0, and a hindering nature, if applicable.
  • Maximum stats are calculated with 252 EVs, IVs of 31, and a helpful nature, if applicable.


Arcanine's stats Edit

Stat Range
At Lv. 50 At Lv. 100
HP: 90
150 - 197 290 - 384
Attack: 110
103 - 178 202 - 350
Defense: 80
76 - 145 148 - 284
Sp.Atk: 100
94 - 167 184 - 328
Sp.Def: 80
76 - 145 148 - 284
Speed: 95
90 - 161 175 - 317
Total: 555   Other Pokémon with this total  
  • Minimum stats are calculated with 0 EVs, IVs of 0, and a hindering nature, if applicable.
  • Maximum stats are calculated with 252 EVs, IVs of 31, and a helpful nature, if applicable.


Growlithe Line Ratings
Availability
2 Stars
Matchups
4.5 Stars
Movepool
4.5 Stars
Survivability
4 Stars
Type Usefulness
4 Stars
Team Role
4 Stars
Offensive Utility
5 Stars
Defensive Utility
4 Stars
Tankiness
4 Stars
Fun Factor
4 Stars


Overall
4.5 Stars
  • What Nature do I want? Hard to determine, as Arcanine makes a great use of every single stat. Natures such as Lonely, Mild, Naughty or Rash will give it a very welcome offensive boost without detracting much from its defensive potential, but there may be the odd matchup out in which it actually makes a difference for the worse. Natures that are detrimental to either Attack or to Speed, however, are generally worse. Neutral natures are okay.
  • Which Ability do I want? Intimidate is excellent, but Flash Fire is workable, and may give Arcanine an edge in rare situations in which prediction matters.
  • At what point in the game should I be evolved? The best long-term option is to wait until level 39, as Crunch will give a great boost to Arcanine's usefulness in the very late game. Waiting until at least level 34 is preferable, as Flamethrower will not be available via TM until much later on; if Growlithe absolutely must evolve earlier than that, Heat Wave is an okay replacement.
  • How good is the Growlithe line in a Nuzlocke? Arcanine is great, there is no way around it. It can take on almost everything it comes across, and remains solid and reliable until the very end.
  • Weaknesses: Ground, Rock, Water
  • Resistances: Grass, Bug, Steel, Ice, Fire (Intimidate)
  • Immunities: Fire (Flash Fire)
  • Neutralities: Normal, Flying, Ghost, Dark, Dragon, Electric, Poison, Psychic, Fighting

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